Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

At my last job, someone made the mistake of assigning me the most prominent cubicle in the company. It sat directly across from the big conference room window and was the first thing you passed as you left reception to get anywhere else in the building. Dozens of people passed my cube every day. I took the honor -- the opportunity to represent the company -- very, very seriously.

My favorite thing was the pig lights. They were a short string of Christmas lights, but with pink, plastic pigs surrounding each bulb. Plug the thing in and the pigs would light up with a healthy, cheery glow. "Ha ha!" they'd say. "We represent fun and productivity and a non-authoritarian work environment! Ha ha!"

Management hated the pig lights.

They never actually told me to take them down, but I heard rumors of rumors that they were frowned upon by executives who saw them as "unprofessional." Isn't it ironic that the same people who managed to drive the company into the ground could accuse me of being unprofessional because of my taste in decor? Silly me, I thought professionalism had to do with how well you did your job.

I also heard they thought I had a bad attitude. If you can imagine.

When I quit, I left the pig lights in the cube, as a memorial. They would remain eternally lit, reminding my former co-workers that they weren't sheep, weren't cogs, weren't ants, meant to labor in the blue-gray rough-textured darkness at the whim of a bunch of tie-choked incompetents. Burn, pig lights! Burn forever!

The next day they were gone.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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